The Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) , the corporate entity of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP), which saw its production hit owing to poor water supply in 2014, has initiated several measures to keep such threats at the bay.
The management says that the plant would face water shortage in the near future as it has a buffer for 60 days. The RINL gets water from Yeleru Canal under the aegis of Visakhapatnam Industrial Water Supply Company (VIWSCO), in which the PSU is a stakeholder. The officials say that the Phase-2 of Kaniti Balancing Reservoir would play a key role in achieving ‘water security’.
“The work is going on at a brisk pace at Kaniti Balancing Reservoir-2 (KBR-2) . Our mission is to achieve water security, keeping in view our future requirements,” RINL Chairman-cum-Managing Director P.K. Rath told The Hindu, adding that the KBR-1 is getting full and water was released into the KBR-2 sometime ago.
As part of the expansion plan, the RINL has added one million tonne liquid steel capacity by modernising and revamping the existing units with an investment of ₹4,000 crore, taking the overall capacity to 7.3 million tonne. Now, the PSU needs 45 MGD of water to ensure uninterrupted production and safe operations. At present, the RINL is receiving 60 MGD of water from Yeluru reservoir.
The expansion necessitated construction of another modern water storage facility to augment the water supply to the plant and Ukkunagaram township. Accordingly, KBR- 2 is being constructed adjacent to the NH-16 (Kurmannapalem) at an estimated cost of ₹465 crore. With a storage capacity 12.32 million cubic meters, the reservoir will have 24-metre-deep single compartment, with green cover around it. Once the project is completed, the reservoir is proposed to serve as a tourist attraction, apart from supplying water to the RINL.
Officials say that the new reservoir may be commissioned in September after it gets filled with the water from Yeleru reservoir. L&T has been awarded the total package of civil works, electrical, pumphouse, piping, mechanical works of KBR-2.
With a storage capacity is 0.5 tmcft (16 million cubic metres), the KBR-1 supplies water to the steel plant and the township.